Private equity firms are circling Birds Eye Iglo, the frozen foods business owned by Permira, in a deal that is expected to be worth some €3bn.
The Financial Times reported that Iglo generated sales of €1.57bn in 2011 and has attracted bids from Blackstone, Bain Capital, BC Partners and Clayton Dubilier & Rice. The group's Ebitda grew by seven per cent to €325.8m.
Permira bought the company five years ago from Unilever and has appointed Credit Suisse to manage a sales process.
Buyers are thought to be looking to bolt on Iglo to existing food assets. Blackstone bought out Tangerine Confectionery last year. Bain Capital owns catering supplier Brakes Group and until 2010, BC Partners owned frozen food group Picard Surgelés. Last year, Clayton Dubilier & Rice tried to buy chilled food business Greencore, but its plans fell through after food magnate Ranjit Singh Boparan swooped in.